Interview with Doug Jamison, CEO, Harris & Harris Group
What are technology/solution areas that you have a primary interest in?Harris & Harris Group builds transformative companies from disruptive science. We are currently focused in an area we call “Biology+.” We define Biology+ as interdisciplinary life science innovation, such as biology + information technology, or biology + semiconductor processing. Areas within this field that we are currently investigating include regenerative medicine, agriculture technologies, the microbiome and deep learning.
What level of commercial maturity do you typically look for in technology partnerships?We like to get involved early in the company building process. We are usually the first institutional investor in a new technology company. We also spin companies directly out of universities, working closely with the scientific founders to build a business model and recruit a management team. In these earliest companies, we look for cutting edge technology backed by strong intellectual property.
Please describe your company’s Innovation model and how this model helps to find new innovations.We work closely with universities, innovative corporations and government agencies, and stay up to date on the latest scientific publications to actively build our entrepreneur and innovation network. In working with universities, we educate ourselves on the future direction of scientific discovery. This is done by closely working with their technology transfer offices and leading researchers. Partnerships with corporations are formed to understand their technology needs of tomorrow, expand our diligence process, explore spinning out new technologies, and to work with our portfolio of transformative companies. These relationships are useful in both finding new investments and helping our existing portfolio succeed by offering introductions.
Why work with TechConnect and the National Innovation Summit as a technology prospector?& Who are you looking to meet with?
We are always looking to expand our innovation network, learn about the new direction of technology innovation, the latest demands on industry, and meet with experienced entrepreneurs as well as up-and-coming world changers. TechConnect and specifically, the National Innovation Summit, provides a valuable event to bring such individuals, teams and organizations together. We look forward to meeting entrepreneurs, talking with regional innovation authorities, and discussing the latest trends and needs with corporate partners.
What did you like most about the 2014 conferences?
We greatly enjoyed meeting entrepreneurs and the organizations that foster entrepreneurship, such as state and regional support agencies. Deep conversations with corporate partners on the future of innovation and upcoming technology demands were also a highlight.
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